Six Feet Under

Season 5 Episode 11


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Aug 14, 2005 on HBO

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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  • Cold Wind Written by Craig Wright Directed by Michael Cuesta

    Can’t you just feel that mental clock ticking in your head? Well I certainly can. This week the UK are starting to tuck into the fifth and final season which started on E4 on Tuesday, while for the past two and a half months, I’ve been happily experiencing this succulent season along with HBO viewers and this next to last episode sent the kind of shockwaves through my system that I’ve been accustomed when watching this series with a plethora of sparkling and engrossing plots mainly centring on Late Nate Jr’s death in one way or another …

    Claire, my favourite flame haired beauty is one of two characters who lost their marbles in tonight’s episode. I often forgot how quotable Claire is when she’s being abusive but after her gleeful exchange of words with pain in the ass Kirstin and her harassment of the DOTW’s mother over a “Support Our Troops” sticker, I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. No-one can play being drunk and grief stricken with such effect as Lauren Ambrose and she played a blinder here. Of course not all of Claire’s abusive behaviour was praise-worthy. She should’ve really thought before shooting her mouth off at Mrs Duncan. It wasn’t until Rico told her the woman’s son died did she relent and I totally felt sorry for Ted too. A lot of people assumed all he wanted to do was fuck Claire and he’s be done but obviously the token Republican thinks more of her than she thinks he does and he also looked really hurt when she blasted him left, right and centre too.

    Her scenes in the nature preserve with Nate were great and her deceased brother really had fun playing Swami until the sound of coyotes scared the crap out of him and he fled. Wimp! Then we had another near death when Claire crashed her hearse. She came out unscathed but the beautiful lime green hearse most definitely didn’t. I’m sorry to announce the coolest vehicle on television is now in bits which Claire sold for $950 to get a bus ticket home. First Nate, now the hearse, maybe the SFU writers really are evil but I suppose Claire’s wild night may have calmed her down a bit.

    It’s just a pity the same couldn’t be said about David who spent all of this hour snap, crackling and popping all over the place. Nate’s death has hit him harder than everyone and while Michael C. Hall totally makes you feel for his character’s plight, there were far too many incidents where David actually freaked me out a bit. Blasting Rico, arguing with Keith, his excessive paranoia over the red hooded guy (this week it was Nate) and acting like a demented version of Bree Van De Kamp on Anthony and Durrell, I was relieved in a way when Keith told him to leave. David needs to get his shit together and exalt whatever demons are still haunting him before he becomes a threat to someone or healthier yet break away from the funeral business, which is more than taking it’s toll on him.

    With Nate’s death, it’s nice the writers are addressing the future of Fisher And Diaz, which by this episode was looking unlikely to have. With David’s crazy behaviour, Rico began to question his livelihood. Unlike the Fishers, Federico could always do his job without taking it home with him but that clearly looks set to become a thing of the past when Vanessa is called into helping out with this week’s funeral and finds it somewhat satisfying. With being the least used nurse in the history of television, I’m highly in favour of this inevitable shift because she seems to have a good knack for consoling people. I liked the way she consoled Holly without spinning any “it’s going to be okay” lines, yet kept an optimistic outlook and I guess from a feminist perspective, it would be interesting to see her in a business hugely dominated by men but so rarely discussed upon. If Rico is planning to set up his own funeral business though, I’d rather see him buy David out of the home rather than buy that dodgy sounding place Vanessa kept recommending. And before I forgot, Julio and Augusto are back, about bloody time.

    Meanwhile a main crunch of the episode was with Ruth getting by after her son’s death. Unlike David and Claire, she's overcoming her anguish and despair much better even if it’s mostly because of George and Maya by her side. It was wonderful how Ruth got a guilt free visit from Nate who praised her mothering skills but then again, he never really complained about how he was raised by her, now did he? As for George, it’s great having him around and he proved useful here by trying to keep the peace with Ruth and Brenda (which even though I expected there to be tension between them, it still kind of distressed me) while Maggie, I was also sad to see go even after she turned on her father but at least she finally acknowledged her fault in sleeping with Nate. Even the most avid of haters for this character have to give her some kind of dues for that.

    The Brenda stuff as per usual was superb stuff, especially with Nate’s active encouragement for her to sleep with Billy, leading to one of the most creepiest fantasy sequences on the show. Someone recently quipped on television without pity “SFU incest is the best, put Brenda and Billy to the test”. Well consider this tested and colour me creeped out by it. The first indication that it was a dream was Brenda being predatory towards Billy. Nate played on the Chenowith siblings former co-dependent relationship in a twisted fashion but once again Brenda proved to be made of stronger stuff by kicking her brother out. Not that Billy actually did anything to annoy me but I was glad she did it nonetheless. Speaking of Billy, he was pretty great this week – getting Maya’s medical history, being a compassionate confidant to Brenda and taking it well when asked to move out, he came up trumps in this episode.

    As for Brenda versus Ruth in the case of Maya, it’s really hard to take a side because both women were doing the right by the little girl. I still kinda wished Brenda hadn’t blurted that Nate slept with Maggie even though it lead from Ruth getting high and mighty on Brenda to assisting her as she went into labour two months early. In a way the birth of the last Fisher-Chenowith we’ll see on-screen could be really cathartic for Ruth. She wasn’t there when her husband and eldest son both died or when her first grandchild was born, so it was a beautiful touch to have her there by Brenda’s side in the latter’s time of need. Talk about preparing to make an entrance. Willa, can’t wait to see you next week.

    Also in “Static”

    Death of the week: Holly Duncan assisted her former soldier brother in euthanasia by using a fluid that is used to put dogs down. Another taboo on this taboo-busting series done.

    Holly Duncan was played by Michael C. Hall’s wife Amy Spanger, who in my opinion did a terrific job.

    Kirstin: “Okay I’m wicked pissed. You are so going to be fired”
    Claire: “Yeah, well I’m fucking Ted”
    Kirstin: “No way!”
    Claire: “Way!”

    When getting the sack from her job, shouldn’t it have been either security or someone from HR showing her the door instead of Ted?

    David (to Rico): “I have a fucking husband, I have two children. When are you gonna realise I’m a human being just like you? When? When?”

    Mrs Duncan (re Claire): “She seems like she’s on drugs”
    Rico: “She usually is”.

    The plot involving Maya’s ear infection echoed concerns Nate had with Lisa cleaning her ears in Season Three. Could Lisa have inadvertently caused this?

    Nate (to Brenda): “I’m just saying you only get one life. There’s no God, no rules, no judgements except the ones you accept of create for yourself and once it’s over, it’s over”.

    It definitely wasn’t me because those camera angles between Nate and Brenda in the elevator were a little weirder than usual.

    Claire: “Are you high?”
    Nate: “I am actually, yeah, quite high”.

    Billy: “That’s what you penis would look like if you were a boy”
    Brenda: “I was thinking the same thing”.

    Maggie (to George): “No Daddy, I don’t have family here. I have some people that I’ve ruined and that I’ve ruined myself in front of. That’s all I have”.

    Maggie mentions her brother Brian but I notice she didn’t mention Kyle. She either doesn’t know he exists or chooses not to acknowledge him. I’m going for the former though.

    Time wise, it’s July 2005, six weeks after Nate’s death.

    Paul (to David): “You’re more scared now than you’ve ever been in your life. You thought you knew fear when Jake poured gas all over you head but this is simple, unavoidable fact. You’re alive and alone and someday you’ll be dead”.

    Astrologically Maya’s Gemini (so am I) while George is an Aries.

    Holly (re Paul): “He was fine. That’s all he needed to be, that’s all anyone ever needs to be. They shouldn’t have to get destroyed”
    Vanessa: “You’re right”.

    Standout music in this episode was Interpol’s “Direction” and Arcade Fire’s “Cold Wind” both of which feature on the latest soundtrack.

    To be honest, a lot of preludes to series finales can be pretty iffy but “Static” bloody well wasn’t as this penultimate episode to the best show on television kept me glued to the screen and hit all the right spots. With one more episode to go, I’m seriously going to miss this show like hell and good luck to Craig Wright in his next project, Season Two of Lost. Fantastic stuff.

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